About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Frost Bite by Nelson Brunanski

40. – 553.) Frost Bite by Nelson Brunanski – The second Bart Bartowksi mystery opens with a uniquely Saskatchewan murder. Bart finds the victim, agri-business CEO Lionel Morrison, at the local Wheat Pool elevator dead under a pile of wheat with one hand stretching out of the grain. I was reminded of the clever ways in which Tony Bidulka has come up with rural Saskatchewan methods of attempted murder in the Russell Quant series. Having found the body Bart naturally pokes around to figure out what happened. While seeking to solve the mystery Bart’s personal life is simultaneously veering between huge highs and lows. While grumbling away he is looking forward to his daughter’s imminent wedding. At the same time he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. (The cancer storyline certainly hit home with my diagnosis a year ago and brachytherapy treatment in Vancouver in the spring.) Brunanski has a deft touch in describing life in small town Saskatchewan. His characters could be my friends and neighbours. My favourite line is Bart’s lament that the wedding supper will not be dominated by the traditional trinity of sausage, perogies and cabbage rolls. While the personal and community stories are well done the mystery is less convincing. The leading local suspect is not a credible killer. The solution comes from one very obvious clue. The killer’s motivation is somewhat shaky and there was nothing in the story from which a reader could know the killer had a reason to murder. The book flows smoothly. The quick paced dialogue drew me through the book in the same way as Robert B. Parker’s Spenser books. The cover is outstanding again with a colourful elevator again dominant. It will both stand out in bookstores and skillfully highlights the themes of the story. If the mystery could be strengthened the next in the series could be a great book. See letter to author. (Oct. 8/10)

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